PRESS RELEASE: Tom Birmingham Joins Citizen Schools Massachusetts as Executive Director

CONTACT:  Holly Trippett, Citizen Schools, 617-695-2300 x1161 or 301-452-3904,



March 4, 2014 – Boston, Mass. – Citizen Schools announced today that Tom Birmingham, former President of the Massachusetts State Senate, has joined the organization as Executive Director of Citizen Schools Massachusetts. Citizen Schools is a national organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities through academic mentoring and skill-building apprenticeships. The Massachusetts program partners with six schools in Boston and Chelsea.

Birmingham brings deep knowledge of local politics, expertise in education reform, and passion for public education to Citizen Schools’ work in Massachusetts. He served in the Massachusetts State Senate from January 1991 - January 2003 and in 1996 was elected as President of the Senate. Birmingham served as Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Education and was instrumental in drafting and passing the Education Reform Act of 1993, a sweeping education bill focused on raising standards for educators, students and administrators and widely credited with setting Massachusetts up for its current success relative to other states across the country.

Most recently, Birmingham served as Senior Counsel for Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP. He joins the organization with a personal passion for expanding the learning day and creating opportunities for low income students in our community.

“I am eager to join the Citizen Schools Massachusetts team that has already guided thousands of underserved students on a path to personal and professional success. There is unfinished work to be done in public education and too many of our children are falling behind in spite of our gains as a Commonwealth,” said Birmingham. “I believe Expanded Learning Time (ELT) is a key strategy for closing the achievement and opportunity gap and Citizen Schools has the best model I know with a proven track record of results in Boston, Chelsea, and nationally.”

"I am thrilled that Tom will be leading our work in Massachusetts," said Pat Kirby, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Citizen Schools and former Citizen Schools Massachusetts Executive Director. "As a key architect of our Commonwealth's education reform law, he understands both the progress we have made and the continued challenges our poorest students face locally and around the state."

About Citizen Schools

Citizen Schools is a national nonprofit organization that partners with middle schools to expand the learning day for children in low-income communities. Citizen Schools mobilizes a team of AmeriCorps educators and volunteer “Citizen Teachers” to teach real-world learning projects and provide academic support, in order to help all students discover and achieve their dreams. For more information, please visit